Minnesota State Volleyball opened Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play falling to No. 9 Winona State, 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-13) Thursday evening at McCown Gymnasium in front of 667 fans.
In the opening set, Winona State raced out to a quick 6-1 lead to force the Mavericks to burn a early time out. The Warriors continued to build their lead up to ten, 18-8. Minnesota State then quickly cut the deficit to eight, 18-10, following a Rissi McNallan ace. Winona State went on to close out set one, 25-14.
The Mavericks were able to slow the pace of the match in set two as both teams were deadlocked at five early. The Warriors then began to take control creating an 11-8 advantage. Minnesota State battled back to cut the lead to one, 17-16, after a Krista Hassing kill. The Mavericks would ultimately fall in the second frame, 25-20.
In the third and final set, both teams exchanged points until Winona State was able to create a 8-4 edge and force a Minnesota State time out. The Warriors then went on a 6-1 run to expand their lead to 14-5. Winona State went on to win the set, 25-13, and the match, 3-0.
Hassing led the Mavericks with a match-best 12 kills while freshman Sarah Kuehn added six kills. Sophomore Autumn Risch notched a team-high 20 assists. Senior Haley Fogarty posted a team-best 10 digs and McNallan contributed nine digs of her own.
Winona State held the edges in kills (45-22) and assists (44-21).
With the loss, Minnesota State moves to 6-3 (0-1 NSIC) on the season. The Mavericks will return to the floor Saturday to open their home schedule with Upper Iowa at 4:00 p.m.